Dry Eye

Dry eye disease linked with metabolic syndrome

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Many ocular diseases, including dry eye disease, are linked with components of metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase a person’s risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to a study.

Researchers conducted a search of the Medline database for associations between metabolic syndrome and ocular findings. Four published studies on dry eye disease and metabolic syndrome were identified.

The first found that tear volume was significantly reduced in patients with metabolic syndrome. The second study showed no significant association between dry eye disease and men and women with metabolic syndrome, but a significant association was noted between dry eye disease and hypertriglyceridemia in women. The third study found that tear volume assessed by Schirmer test was significantly lower in patients with metabolic syndrome. Tear osmolarity was also found to be significantly higher in women with metabolic syndrome compared to the women control group. The final study found that patients with metabolic syndrome had higher levels of tear osmolarity and lower values in Schirmer test and tear film break-up time compared to healthy controls. A significant correlation was also found between tear osmolarity and waist circumference or fasting blood glucose.

The authors concluded that looking into the relationship between metabolic syndrome and ocular disease is “crucial to solidify association and causality between [metabolic syndrome] and ocular findings and to unveil the pathological pathways that ultimately lead to disease. [Metabolic syndrome] has become a new target to control age-related eye diseases and prevent vision loss.”

Lima-Fontes M, Barata P, Falcão M, et al. Ocular findings in metabolic syndrome: a review. Porto Biomed J. 2020;5(6):e104. DOI: 10.1097/j.pbj.0000000000000104. PMID: 33299953; PMCID: PMC7721218.

Kawashima M, Uchino M, Yokoi N, et al. Decreased tear volume in patients with metabolic syndrome: the Osaka study. Br J Ophthalmol. 2014; 98(3):418-420.

Park HW, Park JW. The association between symptoms of dry eye syndrome and metabolic outcome in a general population in Korea. J Korean Med Sci. 2016; 31(7):1121-1126.

Serefoglu Cabuk K, Cakir İ, Kirgiz A, et al. Dry eye disease in patients with metabolic syndrome. Saudi Med J. 2016;37(12):1334-1338.

Erdur SK, Aydin R, Ozsutcu M, et al. The relationship between metabolic syndrome, its components, and dry eye: A cross-sectional study. Curr Eye Res. 2017; 42(8):1115-1117.

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